Thousands Attend Hate Rallies in Mexico Against LGBTQ People

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Thousands of Mexicans took to the streets of cities across the country Saturday to “defend their children” and “defend the traditional family” against the the alleged threat of gay marriage.

The so-called “march for the family” was called by the National Front for the Family, a Catholic organization that was created last May after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto submitted a proposal to Congress to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

The initiative was seen as a move by Peña Nieto to gain popular support amid historically low approval ratings, and was ultimately dropped by lawmakers of his own party.

However, the most conservative wing of Mexico, including the archbishop of Norberto Rivera and other religious congregations, have supported and joined a campaign against the lingering threat of equality—a campaign that has been widely criticized by intellectuals, politician and civil organizations for promoting hatred and violence against the LGBT community.

Members of the National Front for the Family say they represent more than one million families in Mexico and argue that they obtain resources from their own members. However, critics say the participation of the Catholic Church is evident in this political movement, with LGBT activists calling it a violation of Mexico’s secular democracy.

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Macri’s Economic Doctrine Falling Flat? Shell Mulls Divestment in Argentina

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Argentina is beginning to see signs that conservative President Mauricio Macri’s policy, touted as a surefire plan to attract waves of foreign investment and revitalize the country’s economy, is backfiring less than a year into his mandate, as energy giant Royal Dutch Shell announced that it is considering selling off its assets in Argentina.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Wednesday during a press conference in New York that the Netherlands-headquartered multinational is undertaking a “strategic review” of its business activities in the South American country, Reuters reported.

According to the company, the review focuses on Shell’s “downstream” operations including refining, transportation, and distribution, but would not impact the “upstream” activities of oil and gas exploration and production.

The move is part of a global divestment campaign amounting to US$30 billion. In a statement, Shell indicated that the company has “no intention of losing presence in Argentina.”

“We consider our global investments in shale a priority for future growth as of the year 2020, therefore we are committed to development and growth of our non-conventional (energy) business in Argentina in the coming years,” the company stated.

The review will consider divesting holdings including Shell’s refinery in Buenos Aires, which has a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day, as well as the company’s network of some 600 service stations and other assets.

Shell announced preliminary plans in June to scale back operations in some countries to focus on expanding business in liquified natural gas, chemical industries, and other ventures. The revised vision came just months after Shell acquired British oil and gas corporation BG Group for US$54 billion in February, making it the second largest private oil company in the world.

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10 Things to Know About Revolutionary Cuba’s Literacy Program

 

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The Cuban Revolution of 1959 faced a crippling economic blockade from the United States for several decades, forcing the people of the small island nation to rely on themselves.

On the occasion of International Literacy Day, teleSUR takes a look at the major achievements of the Cuban people in fighting illiteracy and making the country a superpower and global model in the field of education.

  1. Illiteracy Was Rampant in Cuba Before the 1959 Revolution

When Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator President Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959, the new revolutionary government inherited a country with a literacy rate as low as 60 percent.

  1. Cuba Became ‘Illiteracy Free’ in Less Than 2 Years

By the end of 1961, a year the Cuban government dubbed “the year of education,” the nation’s literacy rate had risen to 96 percent, one of the highest in the world. This was the result of thousands of “literacy brigades” travelling across the country to rural areas, laying the foundations of what would become the most democratic education system in the Americas.

  1. Education Was Made Free and Public

The Batista regime had promoted a model of education-for-profit, encouraging the privatization of schools, colleges and universities. In 1961, the revolutionary Cuban government nationalized all educational institutions, ensuring every child had a human right to free, quality education.

  1. Education Became Accessible to Women, Afro-Cubans and Cubans in Rural Areas

Historically discriminated against groups such as women, Afro-Cubans, other minorities and rural workers greatly benefited from the Cuban Literacy Campaign. Prior to the initiative, the illiteracy rate for those living in cities stood at 11 percent compared to over 40 percent for those in the countryside. By the end of 1961, this disparity had been abolished.

  1. Cuba Has Sent Education Professionals Worldwide

From Angola and the fight against Apartheid to the thousands of workers and specialists sent to Pakistan after the Kashmir earthquake of 2005, one of the core characteristics of the Cuban Revolution has been its staunch internationalism. The sphere of education is no different.

  1. Cuba’s Literacy Program Has Taught Millions to Read Across the World

Today, more than 10 million people from over 30 countries have learned to read and write through Cuba’s Yo Si Puedo (Yes, I Can) program, which operates in countries ranging from Spain to Venezuela. The program provides free education to poor adults who lacked opportunities to learn to read and write as children.

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